Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When someone imagines their perfect house, the home typically includes a cozy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heater or gathering around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the allure of of a crackling fire, but how do you pick between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many factors to consider when deciding how to keep your home nice and toasty.

Aesthetics and Efficiency 

  • Wood: A wood burning fireplace typically wins in the sensory category. You get the crackle. You get the pop. You get the ability to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an efficient heating source. Wood fires normally receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, a lot lower than a furnace that has regular service performed. They do reach high temperatures, but most of that heat is lost up the chimney. Wood burning fireplaces not only lose the heat coming from the fire, but it also pulls warm air from other parts of the home up and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some designs offer varied height adjustments. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with flickering embers, which don’t require you to wait while they go out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing you more control over the temperature of you home and frees you from having to keep an eye on your fire. The lack of fire stealing oxygen gives gas fireplaces a 75% to 99% efficiency rating. Just imagine the level of comfort you could get when you incorporate that with a well-maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is critical to all homeowners. Burning wood produces air pollution in and outside your family’s home and the smoky wood odor that a wood burning fireplace gives off could be hazardous to your family’s. Wood also creates a byproduct called creosote that lines the coating of the chimney and must be removed by a professional. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed annually, gas fireplaces also require recurrent cleanings of embers and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are just about maintenance free. It is advised that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted every 12 months by an expert to keep it working both safely and smoothly.
If you are wanting to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you need to schedule your routine furnace service, please call us at at 281-407-9478 or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you snuggled up by the fire in no time.
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